Police open investigation into American Idol star Mandisa’s death aged 47

Singer’s cause of death is not yet known

Michelle Del Rey
Friday 19 April 2024 17:50 BST
'American Idol' alum Mandisa dead at 47

Mandisa, the Grammy Award-winning artist who appeared on American Idol, has been found dead at her Franklin, Tennessee home at the age of 47.

The death of the singer, born Mandisa Lynn Hundley in Citrus Heights, California, was announced on Friday. The cause of death is not yet known, though officials with the Franklin Police Department have opened an investigation into her passing.

Mandisa appeared on season five of American Idol in 2006 alongside winner Taylor Hicks. After finishing the show in the top 10, she released a debut album True Beauty in 2007 and embarked on a successful career in Christian music.

She released more albums including Freedom, It’s Christmas, What if We Were Real, Out Of the Dark and Overcomer, followed by Overcomer: The Greatest Hits.

Mandisa arrives at the 54th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 12, 2012. She has died at the age of 47 (Jim Ruymen/UPI/Shutterstock)

Some of her most successful singles include Overcomer, Stronger, Good Morning and My Deliverer.

Mandisa took home Grammy Awards in 2010, 2012 and 2014 for Contemporary Christian Music Album, Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album and Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance.

The singer started her career as part of the Fisk Jubilee Singers while at Fisk University in Nashville.

Mandisa’s representatives confirmed the news of her death on X.

“We can confirm that yesterday Mandisa was found in her home deceased. At this time we do not know the cause of death or any further details. We ask for your prayers for her family and close knit circle of friends during this incredibly difficult time,” a statement read.

K-Love Radio, a Christian radio station, was one of the first outlets to report the news of her death.

AMERICAN IDOL 5, contestant Mandisa (aka Mandisa Hundley), (Season 5, aired March 14, 2006), 2002-, photo: TM and Copyright © (Alamy Stock Photo)

In a written statement, David Pierce, K-Love Chief Media Officer, said, “Mandisa loved Jesus and she used her unusually extensive platform to talk about him at every turn. Her kindness was epic, her smile electric, her voice massive but it was no match for the size of her heart.

Amazon Music logo

Enjoy unlimited access to 70 million ad-free songs and podcasts with Amazon Music

Sign up now for a 30-day free trial

Sign up
Amazon Music logo

Enjoy unlimited access to 70 million ad-free songs and podcasts with Amazon Music

Sign up now for a 30-day free trial

Sign up

“Mandisa struggled and she was vulnerable enough to share that with us, which helped us talk about our own struggles. Mandisa’s struggles are over. She is with the God she sang about now. While we are saddened, Mandisa is home. We’re praying for Mandisa’s family and friends and ask you to join us”.

The Independent has contacted True Artist Management, which represented Mandisa, for comment.

A representative for the Williamson County and Davidson County Medical Examiner’s Office told The Independent that they believe they have received the singer’s body but her identity has not been confirmed through forensic testing.

A preliminary manner of death was not immediately available. A spokesperson for the Franklin Police Department said that officers responded to Mandisa’s home in Franklin on Thursday.

Fellow musicians have taken to social media to pay tribute to the late singer.

Danny Gokey, another American Idol alum, wrote on X, “Devastated to hear about the sudden loss of Mandisa. Her joy was infectious & I loved her heart to encourage people on & off stage!

“When I made my debut in Christian music she was my greatest supporter. Mandisa you left too soon—our community will never be the same without you”.

Matthew West, another American Christian artist said, “I am so incredibly saddened to hear about the loss of my friend Mandisa. I will always cherish the memories of times we spent together hosting award shows, going on tour, and most of all helping her tell her story in the songwriting room.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in